Matt Garza may be an attractive move for the New York Yankees given their dwindling options, but is he the right one?
Right now, the Yankees have a mediocre and inconsistent starting rotation filled with guys who can get them to the playoffs, but not a World Series.
In 2010, Garza lowered his ERA to a career-best 3.32 with the Chicago Cubs. It was an improvement from the 3.91 ERA he posted the year before playing in the AL East for the Tampa Bay Rays, but with good reason.
It's expected that whenever a pitcher makes the switch from the American League to the National League, his ERA will go down as a result of facing a weaker offensive league as a whole. Clearly, Garza took advantage of that in having the best ERA of his career.
Normally I'd take a 3.32 ERA as a major improvement to a starting rotation, but it doesn't come without scrutiny. If Garza was to move back to the AL East with the Yankees, he could win a lot of games with their great offense, but his ERA would return to the vicinity of a very mediocre 3.91 facing a better offensive division and league.
From 2007 to 2009, Garza saw his ERA rise every year, taking a slight dip from 3.95 to 3.91 in 2010. Garza didn't seem to be improving much in the AL East, so it makes it tough to imagine he'll be much better than that with the Yanks.
Garza has seen some playoff success, most recently in 2010 with one start for the Rays, getting a win allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits over six innings.
In a larger sampling back in 2008, Garza was 2-1 with a 3.96 ERA. Good numbers, but again mediocre.
The Yankees don't need another middle of the road pitcher like Garza has proven to be, they need a major difference maker. If Garza was the second major move the Yankees would make for their rotation, it would be a definite no-brainer.
But as it stands now, he would be the biggest acquisition the Yankees could make during the offseason and I just don't see it as being sufficient. It's certainly not a deal I'd be willing to make if a couple of the Bombers' top prospects are involved.
At best, a deal for Garza would be a step in the right direction, not the solution.
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